Hurt has a new cover.
This book feel like it is very long because it covers almost a century of horror in a small town that turned into a ghost town. Like cicadas, every sheath of years brings out the monsters that are like bat-men. The creatures slaughter men mercilessly and take women for mating. I tell the stories of the past but then wind to the present in which a group of urban explorers decide to investigate a huge old school. They meet the monsters and it's a fight for survival, but in addition, the group of friends managed to pick up some tag-alongs, young rednecks that may be serial killers and rapists.
I wanted to write a true monster story and found it to be one of the most difficult books to write. The creatures were not difficult because I based them on some handy Greek mythology, but suggested they could also be an old life form or demons. The rednecks and that side story was also easy going. My challenge was in allowing my group of young adults to uncover the secrets, fight the creatures, and find a way out. Someone had to survive! But at some point, I wasn't sure anyone could possibly make it out alive and I had to bust my ass to find a way that was fair and honest. It became a little B--movie shlocky, but I realized that was part of the fun.
Anyway, it was a difficult book to write, but one I found satisfying. It's just the one "different" book I have. It's still gory, scary, and shocking, but it is unique.
The cover changed at least 5 times but this is how the creatures look, so it's perfect. The title is from Johnnie Cash who defined "hurt" and made me think about what the word truly means.
It's coming soon and I hope is causes a few nightmares.
I am doing something slightly different for this one. There will be a short beginning at .99 and then each of the others will be priced at 1.99. All together, they are a complete novel but are told in 4 parts. The first one is going to be released at the end of December or first of January and begins the journey into a world of the blind. This (releasing in 4 parts) is an experiment for me and I am hopeful it will go well. The title was one reason for the 4 parts because it is very long. The title actually comes from a short story I read long ago that inspired this. I took it further and made it fit modern times and our culture.
I stay in the area of horror, but I run all over subgenres. I have the classic horror, I have delved into Lovecraftian, I have a series about CSI-type crimes (human monsters) and then more extreme. I like writing the commercial, and fun shark and dinosaur horror at times. And I really, really love the splattergore.
I have struggled to find a common denominator and can say that in each, I do tackle social issues, even if I wrap them in other packages. I never shy from these and have dealt with racism, bad family traditions, abuse, and more, but I always play them true. I think I am able to deal with many issues whether it's with shlocky-type dinos or cannibalism.
That isn't my point.
I am working on several projects. I have a "weird western" coming out, a few more of my CSI-type books, and am writing a dinosaur (series?) book, while penning another splattergore. That is just for me. (Or for the 2 presses I am with). I am also editing a shocker of a book that is pure splatter-gore-sex-gross out as well. Why? Well, within each story there is an honesty I enjoy. Each deals with a social issue. or a fetish gone wrong, or bad choices. I like the fun of extreme writing, so these work for me. The name of the collection is REJECTED: For Content. Some of the stories have been rejected many times. I can see why they have; they are graphic and rough, but they are also well written, solid stories by good authors.
I just wrote an article that was published, about these type stories and I stand by it. I find value in all subgenres of horror.
I think I am evolving. I am exploring various subgenres, am working more with new writers to help them, and am finding my place. It took a few years. Most take a decade at least, so I am ahead, but I am to a place where my writing is making money. My press, JEA, is making money and growing several times over each month. I have found a voice for myself. From my many dark places, I still scream.
Of Blood and Water
In 1974, a crime wave shakes a small town as children are murdered while camping with their scout troops or parents; a few were kidnapped. A young deputy, Virgil McLendon, is forced to lead an investigation into the brutal murders while a nation watches, wondering at his new techniques.
No one has heard of profiling and few know how to read a crime scene. Eventually, these methods will shape the new Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI,
but in 1974, they are thought to be strange.
Virgil McLendon feels he is chasing ghosts as the killers kidnap young people, torture victims, leave a trail of dead campers, and seek to shock an entire town with the bloodshed and cruelty. As the body count rises, he feels the answers are close. Maybe far too close.
Each act is more violent the last, and the serial killers decide to go after the local law enforcement department as well. It's a battle of brains, and nothing is as it seems.
Of Blood and Water explores "nature vs. nature", family traditions, the beginnings of a new way to track criminals that will be called behavioral analysis, and the last of the innocence, as a nation changes. The face of justice will be turned aside, and vengeance may rule the case.
The Oklahoma campground murders, a true crime case, adds reality as McLendon pushes self-doubt away, and chases the killers.
The first in the Virgil McLendon series, Of Blood and Water, is where the deputy begins learning how to hunt criminals...and where he gains a taste for the chase.
*Extreme Violence and gore
*Murder scene details
Catt Dahman lives in Texas with her Husband, son, 4 cats (Ollie, T.S. Eliot, and Procol, and a dog named Levi. Catt writes horror, thrillers, spooky stories, and westerns.